Desktop Metal enters $B club. Canada VC report. Redfin IPO.
Matt here filling in for Marcelo.
Earlier this week, Bank Indonesia, the central bank of Indonesia, nominated three companies for its award for the fintech company most supportive of the “non-cash national movement of inclusion.”
Two of the three “fintech” companies were rival e-commerce marketplaces and the third (and winner of the award) was Go-Jek, a company most widely known for its on-demand motorbike service.
It might be counterintuitive to think of Go-Jek as a fintech company, but its payment service Go-Pay is helping to fuel the digital payments wave in Indonesia, where smartphone penetration approached close to half the population as of last year.
One clever way Go-Pay has driven adoption is by using drivers as a point of sale (drivers ask riders whether they want to store change in the form of Go-Pay). This month, Go-Pay announced it would soon be able to be used for merchant transactions outside of Go-Jek’s own services similar to how Alipay and WeChat Pay can be used in China.
Go-Pay is not without competition as rival service Grab has also used the core use case of transportation to drive adoption of its GrabPay. Not looking to miss out on Southeast Asia’s digital leapfrogging are China’s internet giants, which have rapidly increased their investments in the region over the last two years (with more rumored).
Suffice to say, things in Southeast Asia are changing fast. At risk are the region’s banks, insurers, and even local startups amid an aggressive land grab by larger players.
If you’re a SE Asia startup or investor in SE Asian companies, ensure your profile is updated/added to CB Insights via The CBI Editor so they get in front of our forthcoming research on the region and eventually the 297,000+ on this newsletter.
$162M: Bolstered by a $102M mega-round, $162M has already been deployed to Canadian VC-backed artificial intelligence companies across 12 deals through H1’17. Total funding has already hit an annual high, while deal activity is also on pace to eclipse last year’s high of 16. Read about all this and more in our recent Q2’17 Canada VC Report released with PwC.
3: Desktop Metal, a 3D printing company, raised $115M in Series D funding from investors including Data Collective, GV, and New Enterprise Associates. The round brought the company’s valuation to $1B, making it the newest company to be added to our real-time Unicorn Tracker. Q3’17 has already seen 3 companies (Desktop Metal, SenseTime, and Zhaogang) enter the unicorn club thus far.
5.2 million: Earlier this week, Netflix released its second-quarter results, which detailed notable wins for the video streaming giant. As per the company’s shareholder letter, global net adds reached a record 5.2 million — higher than the forecasted 3.2 million. The company also crossed a milestone of 100 million members, with more international (50.1%) than domestic users. Overall, Netflix saw a 5% increase in total subscribers, jumping from 99 million members in Q1’17 to 104 million in Q2’17.
$149M: This week, online real estate brokerage company Redfin filed its S-1 and is looking to raise $149M in its IPO. The company has raised $167M in total disclosed funding from investors including Madrona Venture Group, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Greylock Partners, and Tiger Global Management. Redfin was part of our 2017 Tech IPO Pipeline report, covering 369 of the most promising and highly valued private venture and private equity-backed technology companies in the US.
$30M: The amount raised by SpotHero, an on-demand parking service, in Series C funding. Round investors included Autotech Ventures, Insight Venture Partners, and Founders Capital. The company can be found on our smart cities market map along with other startups working to improve civic life from parking to transport to waste management, and more.
$35M: Marketing technology unicorn Zeta Global acquired AI-marketing platform Boomtrain for an estimated $35M-$40M. It is the company’s first acquisition of the year, which follows the $140M Series F round (of which $25M was debt) raised earlier this year that increased the company’s valuation to $1.3B. Boomtrain is one of 117+ companies found in our AI collection classified under #Ads&Marketing.
$17,000: In recent months, the fidget spinner has become a popular toy throughout the United States. But according to a recent report on state-run television in Russia (as told by the NYT), the toy is an attempt to “zombify people,” thus allowing for manipulation. Russian state media suggests fidget spinners are “controlling the masses” and “luring the youth,” and are overall in need of further investigation. According to the article, a real gold spinner can be purchased for about $17,000 in Russia.
29 minutes: According to Twitter, Elon Musk received “verbal govt approval” for the Boring Company to construct an underground Hyperloop One train between New York, Philly, Baltimore, and DC. The message implies a 29-minute route between New York and DC, and each route would go from city center to city center and be accessible via elevators. Hyperloop One is one of the mobility companies in our latest Game Changers Report, featuring companies with world-changing potential.
2013: Chinese authorities have banned Winnie the Pooh on social media based on people comparing the cartoon bear to Chinese President Xi Jinping. According to a report, the government has been battling a meme since 2013 that shows former US president Barack Obama and Xi Jinping next to an image of Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, pointing to similarities between the two graphics. The so-called “Pooh Bear ban” is censoring images and phrases across WeChat, Sina Weibo, and other platforms.